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Beginning of the end for the A380?

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Hvr

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This year is shaping up to be the first since the doubledecker entered service without a new airline customer.
<snip>

"Airbus will be obliged to make a decision one way or the other in 2015," said Yan Derocles, an analyst at Oddo Securities in Paris, who estimates an engine upgrade may cost Airbus 2 billion euros ($2.97 billion) because of work required on the wing.
An engine upgrade would take about four years, according to Derocles.
While one hopes the A380 survives and thrives unless it gets some more buyers and routes then maybeit will be a niche product with a short lifespan?
 

OATEK

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While one hopes the A380 survives and thrives unless it gets some more buyers and routes then maybeit will be a niche product with a short lifespan?
It does seem there is a trend towards nimble, flexible, agile in many areas of business since the GFC. The A380s don't fit easily into that mold, and I suspect it may be a slippery slope for the A380 and new 747s, with the major investment going towards single deck wide-bodied long haul, that can operate on just about any long-haul route.

Since 1987 I have not had a single long-haul trip that has not involved a double-decker on at least one leg. The next one, in March 2015 is all single deck, and I see more of that for the following 3-4 years. Partly it is to do with a move away from QF, and partly because the other good OWE operators have a heavy concentration of single-deck aircraft (eg CX, AY).
 

serfty

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Of course that trend has been influenced by high fuel prices making the cost of hauling additional fuel to enable fuel to be hauled on the VLA's unproductive.

With the current downward trend in fuel price, it may be that the efficiencies of the VLA's again begin to outweigh the fuel costs and there would be a trend back to them.
 

JessicaTam

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Of course that trend has been influenced by high fuel prices making the cost of hauling additional fuel to enable fuel to be hauled on the VLA's unproductive.

With the current downward trend in fuel price, it may be that the efficiencies of the VLA's again begin to outweigh the fuel costs and there would be a trend back to them.
But would an airline commit to them considering the volatility of the fuel prices?
 

smit0847

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I assume QF have no intention of ever receiving the final 8 A380s they ordered?
 

moa999

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QF will need something to the replace the 9 refurbed 747s the first of which will be 20yrs old in 2018.
While an A380 is too big for some of those markets I suspect they will need at least a few more mega aircraft.


Also some interesting stuff from Airbus overnight on twitter:
aviator.aero ‏@aviator_aero 4h4 hours ago Airbus CEO Fabrice Bregier says planemaker will one day launch an A380neo and A380 stretch.

albeit it may be just a different spin on this:
Airbus shares fall over A380 threat - BBC News
 

bismarck

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I hope it's not all over for the A380...I love flying it.

Mind you, I think it does have a place flying into (an increasing number of) slot constrained airports.
 

Flying Fox

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I've only had 4x A380 flights and I really enjoyed them.

Here is another article that seems to talk up the future of the A380.

Airbus to build A380neo and A380 'stretch' - Australian Business Traveller

Earlier this year Airbus admitted it was looking at a next-generation Airbus A380neo, based on lobbying for the proposed aircraft by Emirates Airways, which is its largest A380 customer.

Airbus is already floating a revamped A380 design with as many as 22% more seats, including an optional 11 seats across in economy, but a supersized A380 could carry close to 1,000 passengers.

I really like the look of the A380-900 and think it has better proportions than the A380-800.

Maybe QF can swap the yet to be delivered 8x A380-800s for 8x A380-900s which I think would be good for AUS-LHR & AUS-USA routes.
 

samh004

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I assume QF have no intention of ever receiving the final 8 A380s they ordered?
As below, I would have thought they would need to order them as they're going to run out of 4-engined planes for their routes that require them. I'm talking less about Asia, Middle East, Europe or America, and more about South America and Africa. They're not even flying the A380 there! But when the 747's are gone, they wont have anything else that can fly there.

QF will need something to the replace the 9 refurbed 747s the first of which will be 20yrs old in 2018.
While an A380 is too big for some of those markets I suspect they will need at least a few more mega aircraft.
I had a little read of various threads and information online before posting here. Notwithstanding the ability to run a completely Airbus fleet would perhaps save on maintenance costs, each successive iteration of plane generally yields a performance boost over it's predecessor and competitors, such that although the 747-800 doesn't carry as many passengers as the A380-800, it's touted to be cheaper to run. So a future version of the A380 is likely to best the 747-800.

That said, the slightly smaller size ("heavy" vs "super"), along with the ability to park it in more places makes me think the replacement for the last of the 747-400's should be some 747-800's. I know Emirates wont be happy, but the Airbus really does seem to be too big, and has too many issues. It'll be a weight (pun) on QF to move forward with it solely as the 4-engine/long haul choice.

Where they need 4 engines, I'd like to see them choose Boeing. So I do think it's the beginning of the end for the A380... however there's so many backorders that it'll be a while before they wrap up production!

I'd imagine many would miss upper deck boarding, but it's not a huge upper deck anyway.
 

BAM1748

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I guess all the airlines who wanted the 380 have bought them, no more news orders required at present.

I'd like to see QF head back the 747 myself for the next round of large aircraft.

Matt
 

bismarck

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Maybe they'll use the 389's on AUS-USA where demand is high and rotate the 388's onto the current 747 routes where demand is a little lower (presuming the relevant airport's can handle them?)
 

harvyk

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Ultimately it was an aircraft which had so much promise, and delivered so little.

Airports hate them since they had to do a lot of modifications to allow them to go there which they did on the promise of ultra high density seating arrangements (aka 800 or so people walking past DF stores), instead most airlines have simply used that space for premium pax (which airports also hate since we tend to make beelines for lounges) rather than extra Y seats.

Airlines are finding them tough to fill since most pax want frequency, they would rather 3 737 services than 1 A380 service. Yes there are some long haul routes which don't lend themselves to frequency, but for the most part, people no longer accept the concept of 3 flights weekly, which they did the last time a ultra high capacity aircraft was launched (the 747).

Basically they built the wrong aircraft for the wrong time.
 
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moa999

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But with no obvious second hand market they may be convinced to keep them at some very cheap lease rates
 

jb747

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My bet is that not only will there never be an NEO, but there will not be a 900 either. It's a niche product, which has been overtaken by the capability of the big twins. There is pretty well no need for quads now...and it will be reduced to zero in the future.
 
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